The Pioneer in Reduction of Dermal Exposure
Historically, industrial hygienists have focused on air monitoring to ensure worker safety. CLI was the first company to recognize that, for chemicals in the workplace that are non-volatile, such as aromatic amines and isocyanates, the primary route of exposure is the skin. CLI has worked to develop products that successfully identify and reduce dermal exposures in work environments.
OSHA has recently begun implementation of their National Emphasis Program (NEP) to reduce skin exposures to isocyanates. CLI's SwypeTM detectors are recommended for detection of isocyanates on surfaces and worker's skin. CLI offers a Hazard Assessment Test Kit for both aliphatic and aromatic isocyanates to help industry comply with OSHA's NEP requirements.
Approximately 60% of all regulated chemicals carry a "skin" notation, i.e. the propensity for the compound to penetrate the natural barrier layer of the skin thus presenting a toxicologically significant route for exposure, and solvent usage is especially risky because solvents have the ability to carry other chemicals through the skin. Independent studies have shown that isocyanates have the ability to induce pulmonary sensitization in laboratory animals from dermal exposure only without any previous inhalation exposure.
To put everything in perspective, the average worker breathes approximately 11 m3 of air during a standard 8-hour workday. Using NIOSH's (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) maximum exposure limit of 0.05 mg/m3 for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), this equates to an exposure of about 0.6 mg of MDI during the typical workday. A single drop of MDI on the skin, having a mass of around 40 mg, is the equivalent amount of exposure as working at the maximum allowable NIOSH exposure limit of 0.05 mg/m3 eight hours a day, for over 60 consecutive days.
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